DC’s Elseworlds series were some of my favorite comics as a kid. Why would I want to get wrapped up in the stodgy, never-ending plots of Death and Return of Superman or Knightfall when I could enjoy Batman becoming a vampire in Batman & Dracula: Red Rain, a Communist Superman in Red Son or the weird alt-DC Universe of JLA: The Nail?
The originator of this label was Brian Augustin and Mike Mignola’s excellent Batman: Gotham by Gaslight, which transposes Bruce Wayne/Batman to the late 19th century and has him tangle with Jack the Ripper (and was subsequently ranked as the 11th greatest Batman graphic novel of all-time by IGN). Clearly, someone at DC agrees with me, because 2018 will see the arrival of an animated adaptation of the story and, from the looks of the trailer above, it’s going to be awesome.
Apparently hewing pretty close to the original, we’ll see Batman (voiced by Bruce Greenwood) attempting to solve a series of gruesome murders in Victorian Gotham, only for suspicion to fall upon the wealthy playboy who’s always mysteriously absent at night. Along the way he encounters Selina Kyle (voiced by Jennifer Carpenter), who assists him in his hunt for the original serial killer, Jack the Ripper (presumably on holiday from London).
DC’s animated projects have been a little hit and miss lately. Batman and Harley Quinn was straight-up embarrassing, especially considering its Animated Series pedigree, while Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders gave Adam West a beautiful send-off for his Batman. But, purely based on this trailer, I’m betting Batman: Gotham by Gaslight is going to be worth a watch.
We don’t have a firm date for a release other than sometime in 2018, but it’ll likely be sooner rather than later. As always, watch this space for more.